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In the 20th century, with the development of one suburb after another, the “built landscape” of West Philadelphia deposited unmanageable amounts of wastewater in the Mill Creek sewer, which, under severe pressure, periodically overflowed and, more disastrously, collapsed.

In the early 19th century, textile mills arose along Mill Creek. The late 19th century saw the “burial” of the creek in a culverted sewer, which extended from the future intersection of City Line Avenue near 63rd Street to the Schuylkill River below Baltimore Avenue.  

Mill Creek, once a power source for various mills, achieved notoriety in the 20th century as an underground culverted sewer and submerged floodplain that wreaked havoc with the West Philadelphia landscape.

Postcard featuring a view of the Market Elevated station platform at 40th and Market Streets

Postcard featuring a view of the Market Elevated station platform at 40th and Market Streets. Underground service to this station began in 1955.

An early 20th-century postcard displays the Market Elevated subway at 32nd and Market Streets.

The Market Street Elevated or “El” shaped 20th Century West Philadelphia.

Colorful Overbrook Farms, house between N. 59th Street and Drexel Road; the foundation is Wissahickon schist.

African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, an institution founded in central-city Philadelphia in 1792, with its present home in this building, which was constructed by White Episcopalians in 1899.

The Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander School, a pre-K–12 school, formed as the education hub of the West Philadelphia Initiatives.

The Strawberry Mansion Bridge, originally called the Fairmount Park Trolley Bridge, was built by the Fairmount Park Transportation Company in 1897 to add cross-Schuylkill service to the company's trolley line through Fairmount Park.

Woodside Park was an amusement park which thrilled Philadelphians with its attractions for almost 60 years.

Ice shows like the Ice Follies were regular events at the Arena in its early years.